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Obama backs House healthcare bill

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President Obama endorsed a $1 billion U.S. healthcare reform bill released Tuesday by House Democrats, saying it will cut costs and provide coverage for all.

“For decades, Washington failed to act as healthcare costs continued to rise, crushing businesses and families and placing an unsustainable burden on governments,” Obama said. “But today, key committees in the House of Representatives have engaged in unprecedented cooperation to produce a healthcare reform proposal that will lower costs, provide better care for patients, and ensure fair treatment of consumers by the insurance industry.”

The bill combines a public health insurance option with a requirement that everyone have health insurance, The Washington Times said. Cuts in Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals and a tax increase on the richest U.S. residents would pay the cost.

Obama said the bill would fix most of the ills associated with the current U.S. healthcare system.

© 2009 UPI. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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